A Chat with George Holliday (10.08.20)

Living in a world of despair and hopelessness, it is easy to lose faith and fall into the distress surrounding us. The world may be floundering, but there are those who look to bring freedom and joy back! Folk artist George Holliday embraces escapism with his new project Made On The Road.

During his months on the road as a digital nomad of sorts, George and his writing partner Isaac created a collaborative album featuring singles ‘Drop By’ and ‘Young and Free’. We speak with George about ‘Young & Free’ and much more!

OSR: What can you tell us about the single ‘Young & Free’?

Holliday: ‘Young & Free’ is a single that was written in the UK and then travelled all the way to Copenhagen in my music studio bus to meet musicians that recorded on the track. It’s got a lot of adventure in it and I think this is reflected in the song, which primarily is about those adventures you plan and have as children that remain with you in your adulthood, whether you pursue them or not.

OSR: Does it have a significant meaning to you?

Holliday: Personally, I LOVED road trips growing up; it brought me so much excitement to know we were hitting the road. This song reminds me that that’s all still possible and the inner adventurous child is still there!

OSR: Why should people listen to your music?

Holliday: That’s a tough question. I think if people are looking for a great mix of sounds and a cross of genres that I find on my travels, then I hope people connect with my music and find excitement in ‘what’s next’. There’s lots of stories in the music I write from being on the road, so if you like road trips, I think you’ll like the music!

OSR: ‘Young & Free’ was recorded across five countries with five different artists – how challenging was that?

Holliday: It felt quite surreal knowing that all the music was recorded within the same walls, but those walls were moved to different locations. I wouldn’t really say it was very challenging though because it flowed really well and there was no pressure on the result of the song, so we tackled it at a pace that felt right. I’d say the biggest challenge was simply making it sound like a high value production, but those are the challenges we are faced with daily at Made On The Road.

OSR: What are the benefits of an international collaboration like you did with ‘Young & Free’?

Holliday: Definitely the sense of adventure that ends up in the recording. Each layer of the song was refreshing and felt like the song grew with us on the journey. I guess there’s no hug international benefits on this track because there’s no language barriers broken in a sense, but the sense of adventure you hear in the track definitely derived from times on the road.

OSR: What can you tell us about the upcoming album Made On The Road?

Holliday: I was initially worried that the album wasn’t going to be cohesive with meeting up with so many different people from so many different backgrounds, but something about it really gels together into a cohesive project. You can almost hear the dynamics in the journey change in the dynamics of the tracks. It’s certainly a road trip album and I really hope that’s what keeps people hooked to listen right through and find their favourites.

OSR: What is your greatest musical accomplishment to date?

Holliday: Ooooh, good question. I used to be a performing musician and was very lucky to have the opportunity to play live with JP Cooper as part of his band for a couple of videos he did. I also got the chance to play for an incredible up and coming artist called AJ Brown supporting Lionel Richie, which was quite a moment to remember!

OSR: What advice do you have for emerging artists?

Holliday: My best advice would ALWAYS be to never stop creating. People give up too early and the people that always build a career off their artistry are always the ones that remain consistent and persistent. It’s a tough place to be and I hope that communities, like the one we have around Made On The Road, make independent artists feel supported and not alone. Ultimately, the drive needs to be there. Find exactly what it is that you love, stay consistent and never stop creating!

OSR: If you had to live with a celebrity for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?

Holliday: Does it matter if they’re no longer with us? I’d probably say Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Wonder. I don’t even listen to Hendrix’s genre of music, but there was something about his creativity and energy that I would love to be around. They say you should surround yourself with people that keep you motivated and inspired; I feel he would be that kind of guy.

Stevie, I just think would be bad for my jaw because my mouth would just be open every time he sat down with an instrument, but I’d choose him for the same reason of inspiration.

OSR: What are your plans for the future?

Holliday: I want to be able to share a lot more about the lifestyle I’ve built and share information about certain things that allowed me to essentially do what I wanted to. So, I’m starting to release some short courses in September to help out independent musicians there. I also plan to release some sample packs with sounds that I gather on the road so that people can put adventure into their music, even if they don’t get the opportunity to hit the road with us. I’m really excited about finding more ways I can bring the bus adventures outside the bus for the benefit of others; so if anybody has any ideas, I’m all ears!

OSR: Do you have a message for our readers?

Holliday: I guess I’d love to leave with a message that although this is quite an extreme life change to have made, it happened out of a desire to chase the ideas I had and execute them. If you have an idea that you’re sitting on, there’s no better time to chase it than now because now is the time you’re most excited about it. I continued to gig whilst working hard to build this bus with NO experience in DIY. The whole project was £15k, so I’m not a rich kid that got lucky. I was your average musician funding everything doing weddings and functions and wanted to make a change to my life.

No matter what your dream life looks like there will be a smart way to get there, but the only way it will happen is to fully commit and deal with the problems as you go. Don’t wait for a “more convenient time” because that time never really comes. Oh..and make sure you’re having an absolute blast doing whatever you do, because otherwise what’s the point?!

Thanks to George Holliday for chatting with us! You can find more about him on his Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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